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Balcony (from , scaffold; cf. Old High German balcho, beam, balk; probably cognate with Persian term بالكانه bālkāneh or its older variant پالكانه pālkāneh), a kind of platform projecting from the wall of a building, supported by columns or console brackets, and enclosed with a balustrade. The traditional Maltesemarker balcony is a wooden closed balcony projecting from a wall.

Alternatively, Juliet balconies (named after Shakespeare's Juliet, who courted Romeo from her balcony in the play Romeo and Juliet) do not protrude out of the building. They are usually part of an upper floor, with a balustrade only at the front, and walls on the sides. Various types of balcony have been used in depicting the scene; in particular the balcony of Juliet at Villa Capuleti in Veronamarker is not in fact a Juliet balcony.

Sometimes balconies are adapted for ceremonial purposes, e.g. that of St. Peter's Basilicamarker at Romemarker, when the newly elected pope gives his blessing urbi et orbi after the conclave. Inside churches, balconies are sometimes provided for the singers, and in banqueting halls and the like for the musicians.

A unit with a regular balcony will have doors that open up onto a small patio with railings. To the contrary, a French balcony is actually a false balcony, with doors that open to a railing with a view of the courtyard or the surrounding scenery below.

In theatres, the balcony was formerly a stage-box, but the name is now usually confined to the part of the auditorium above the dress circle and below the gallery.

Famous uses of balconies

Balconies have been used extensively in many television, movie, and stage performances. One of the most famous of all is, by far, the famous "balcony scene" in William Shakespeare's famous tragedy, Romeo and Juliet.

Balconies today

Nowadays it is very common to see beautiful balconies installed on facades. Specially in beach and mountain areas. New improvements have been made to the design, making it more affordable and easier to install a Juliet balcony. One can search online and find companies that sell ready made balconies that just attach to the building structure.Hotels, condominiums and apartment complexes make good use of the convenience and the added value of a Juliet balcony.The modern terminology has changed slightly with reference to balconies. A true balcony includes a platform, where people can stand on; a false or fake balcony has no platform and acts just as a railing on a french door. In this case the doors need to open to the inside.

Balcony names

Manufacturers have given interesting names to their balcony designs. They refer to the origin of the design, i.e. Italian balcony, Spanish balcony, Mexican balcony, Ecuadorian balcony, etc. They also refer to the shape and form of the pickets used for the balcony railings, i.e. knuckle balcony, goose balcony, pot belly balcony, etc.

Image:Manet.balcony.jpg|Edouard Manet: Le balconImage:Romeo and juliet brown.jpg|Ford Madox Brown, the balcony scene from Romeo and JulietImage:Júlia balkonja, Verona.jpg|The famous balcony of Juliet at Villa Capuleti in Veronamarker.

Image:Conjunt de Tres Edificis - 004.jpg|Catalan ironwork balconyImage:Balcony_in_Rome.jpg|Colourful balcony in RomemarkerImage:Lisbon (Lisboa) Luca Galuzzi 2006.jpg|Balconies with cast iron balustrades in Lisbonmarker.

Image:Balconies.JPG|Ironwork balconies in Krakowmarker, PolandmarkerImage:Balcony.JPG|A balcony in Perth, Western AustraliamarkerImage:Casa de Osambela.JPG|Casa de Osambela, Limamarker.

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